Walter Mazzarri’s intricate in-game management failed to come to fruition as Napoli slumped to a 1-0 defeat at bitter rivals Milan. Partenopei’s eight-game unbeaten Serie A streak at the San Siro halted on Sunday courtesy of Theo Hernandez’s first-half goal.
Without several first-team stars, including standout forward Victor Osimhen, Napoli headed to Lombardy desperate to put their first away league on the board since beating Atalanta 2-1 in late November. More importantly, they were out to end a five-game scoreless run in top-flight action on hostile turf.
None of it happened despite Mazzarri’s attempts to confuse Milan with constant changes of tactics throughout the game. Napoli began the match in a 3-5-2 formation but switched to a 4-3-3 at the start of the second half after falling behind at halftime.
During the post-match interview, Mazzarri attributed his tactical adjustments to Milan’s aggressive first-half approach and praised Napoli’s resurgence after the break.
“Milan had a ferocious pressing in the first half and fell back after the break. We did well, but could’ve done better to make the most of their dip in fitness levels,” the interim Napoli boss told DAZN, as relayed by Gianluca Di Marzio.
“I don’t think the change of system was the key to playing better in the second half, we simply did better.”
But it wasn’t enough to extend a three-match unbeaten league streak, as Napoli lost further ground on fourth-placed Atalanta following La Dea’s emphatic 4-1 triumph at promoted Genoa earlier on Sunday.
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